“I am a serious candidate,” Michele Bachmann says

December 16, 2011

Bachmann answers questions in front of her bus before the start of her 99 county tour of Iowa in Sioux City, Iowa, December 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

SIOUX CITY – Michele Bachmann wants some respect, especially from Newt Gingrich.

For two days in a row the sole woman in the Republican presidential campaign has demanded that she be respected as a serious candidate for president.

She has aimed most of her anger at Gingrich, the current front-runner, who said during Thursday’s debate that Bachmann didn’t have all her facts straight in her attacks on him.

“I am not a student of his. I am a serious candidate for the presidency and I think it is important that I be treated as an equal on that stage,” Bachmann told reporters before boarding a bus for a 10-day visit of Iowa’s 99 counties.

“He had made these accusations before, that my facts weren’t right. But he didn’t have an answer for the $1.6 million that he took to bring about undue influence regarding Freddie Mac.”

Bachmann has repeatedly tried to raise doubts about Gingrich’s conservative principles and accused him of being a Washington lobbyist for accepting up to $1.6 million in payments from troubled mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which was at the heart of America’s housing crisis.

Asked if Gingrich was being sexist she would only say, “I think that would be an observation that people who are looking at it will have to make.”

Bachmann poses with a group of high school girls at the Dutch Bakery in Orange City , Iowa, December 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes

Bachmann, a Tea Party favorite who is fighting to win over conservative Iowa voters, was a bit more angry in the debate last night.

“This isn’t just once, I think it’s just outrageous to continue to say over and over through the debates that I don’t have my facts right, when as a matter of fact, I do,” Bachmann said. “I am a serious candidate for the President of the United States, and my facts are accurate.”

Alleen Johnson of Le Mars, Iowa, had encouraging words for the Minnesota congresswoman. “We pay no attention to those poll numbers,” she told Bachmann at a campaign stop at the Le Mars Family Table Restaurant. “We are listening to what you have said — we believe you. We know that you can take on Obama. We are praying for you. We just want you to know, honey, that hopefully in January of 2013 we will call you Madam President.”

Watch Bachmann’s remarks at Thursday’s debate below. Her “I’m a serious candidate” comment begins at the 2:45 mark:

Bachmann talks to a crowd of supporters at the Dutch Bakery in Orange City, Iowa, December 16, 2011. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

A serious candidate? Methinks the Lady doth protest too much.

Posted by Sensibility | Report as abusive

I think Bachmann was trying to tell the listeners ‘she is a serious’ candidate. Not just Gingrich. She knows her credibility had been in question early in the race when her facts were questioned. Gingrich simply swung a nice left hook when he brought this up. He has done it twice now and – guess what? People start to wonder. Is she right? Is that correct? Are the facts twisted? It is true and known to most Americans, that accusations from one politician to another are usually twisted somehow. This is precisely why candidates MUST keep on the issues and proposed solutions so the public can actually vote on solutions rather than ‘who we hate less’ or ‘who we believe more’ than another.
Michelle should tell us what she’ll do as President. That will bring her more credibility than anything else.

Posted by DutchHuette | Report as abusive

yeah she is seriously delusional

Posted by hepette | Report as abusive



Posted by gregbrew56 | Report as abusive

I am afraid that based upon her resume she is as “serious” as was Howard Baker in 1980. Candidates who have served in Congress but never as governor are not prepared to be “Chief Executive” of the USA. Baker even had a record of effectiveness vs Bachmann.

The only candidates who have served as “chief executives” are Obama, Perry, Roemer, and Romney.

Of those four only Perry has been re-elected (twice), and only Perry has been Reagan-like in his increased-conservatism over time.

Obama has failed even his own standard. Roemer hasn’t mounted a meaningful effort. Romney appears to have no core beliefs other than Mormonism and a perennial candidacy for higher-office.

“Serious” should mean “qualified by experience and performance” and that makes Perry the only one fit to be President.

Posted by ThinkFirst1 | Report as abusive